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Faulkner’s Soldiers’ Pay: A Bibliographical
By Francis J. Bosha
Annotations to Soldiers’ Pay
By Margaret Yonce
- Brooks, Cleanth. “A Payment Deferred (Soldiers
Faulkner: Toward Yoknapatawpha and Beyond (1978): 67-99.
One of the most influential early critics of Faulkner, Brooks
examines the novel primarily as an extension of Faulkner’s
earlier forays into Romanticism, and in particular his reliance
upon the Greek nature spirits of nymphs and fauns as a conscientious
model and motif for characters and events in the novel. In Brooks’
eyes, Donald Mahon
and Januarius Jones
represent two extremes of faun and satyr, while Emmy
and Cecily represent
varying degrees of nymphs. This use of faun and nymph imagery,
Brooks says, emphasizes the failure of nature and "pagan
virtues" in light of the recent World War, especially the
failure of religion, which is epitomized by the Reverend
Joseph Mahon’s loss of faith. As in Eliot’s The Waste
Land, it falls upon the middle-ground of humanity (represented
in the novel by Joe Gilligan
and Margaret Powers)
to stand as victims of the common disaster and alone to recognize
the "curse" on the land and the loss of meaning and
- Millgate, Michael. “Soldiers Pay.”
of William Faulkner (1978): 61-67.
Though first published in 1966, Millgate’s book still stands
as a major study of Faulkner’s work. The chapter on Soldiers’
Pay indicates the extent to which Faulkner’s earlier work,
especially his poetry, found new expression in prose. He examines
Faulkner’s descriptive ability ("thematic and emblematic
rather than imitative") and the possibility that Faulkner,
in addition to borrowing imagery from Greek mythology, is parodying
James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen. Mythical elements are prominent
in the novel, but Millgate notes that such an interpretation
does not fit into an organized overall pattern. He also examines
certain stylistic characteristics of the novel — the numerous
similes but lack of metaphors, for instance — and the novel’s
rich allusiveness and symbolism, arguing that while Faulkner
ultimately fails in uniting the novel’s many elements, the novel
nonetheless exhbits "a competence and consistency quite
astonishing ina first novel."
Names in bold face indicate major
or significant characters.
- Baird, Dr.
- Bleyth, Captain
- Burney, Mr.
- Burney, Mrs.
- Burney, Dewey
- Coleman, Mrs.
- Dough, James
- Farr, George
- Gary, Doctor
- Gilligan, Joe
- Green, Captain
- Henderson, Mrs.
- Jones, Januarius
- Lowe, Julian
- Madden, Rufus
- Mahon, Donald
- Maurier, Harrison
- Miller, Mrs.
- Mitchell, Mrs.
- Nelson, Aunt
- Nelson, Loosh
- Powers, Margaret
- Powers, Richard
- Rivers, Lee
- Saunders, Minnie
- Saunders, Robert,
- Saunders, Robert,
- Wardle, Mrs.
- White, Hank
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to cite this page (MLA style):
John B. “Soldiers Pay: Resources.” William Faulkner on the Web.
17 Aug. 2006.
Ed. John B. Padgett. U of Mississippi.
01 Aug. 2015
|This page was last modified
Thursday, August 17, 2006, at 03:20 PM CDT.
Copyright © 1995 2006
by John B. Padgett.